North Korean Motorcycle Diaries
I Went on a Hash Making Holiday in Northern Morocco
Until the Spanish occupation of northern Morocco in the 1920s, Chefchaouen was basically a closed city. In fact, when troops first arrived, they found Jews in the area speaking a medieval form of Castilian Spanish that hadn’t been heard on the Iberian peninsula for around 400 years, and a population that was more opposed to Christianity than reddit’s entire swamp of militant keyboard atheists.
But thanks to the Spanish valiantly wiping out decades of cultural heritage, the city has now opened up to become a popular tourist spot. Backpackers flock in from around the world to take selfies next to its beautiful blue-washed architecture, eat its famous regional goat cheese, and—more than anything else—take advantage of the thriving local hash industry.
Morocco is said to produce nearly half of the world’s hashish, and it’s estimated that around 800,000 Moroccans work in the industry—mostly in the Rif, the mountainous region of northern Morocco where Chefchaouen is located. The debate about decriminalizing that industry has been bubbling away in parliament for a while, with a member of the opposition saying in August that his party hopes to legalize cannabis production within the next three years.
Why Are There So Many Mentally Ill Drug Addicts in Cornwall?
Cornwall is David Cameron’s favorite summer chill spot. It is a coastal retreat where private schoolchildren from the United Kingdom go to spend their General Certificate of Secondary Education results money on Fat Face hoodies and retired doctors wander the National Trust beaches drinking scrumpy out of tubs and doing watercolors of trees. However, inside this quant paradise are some of the most drug-addled and mentally sick communities in the UK.
One of these areas is Penzance. It’s a civil parish that is colloquially known as “brown town,” because of its abundance of heroin, or “holiday homeless,” because of its large population of vagrant people. It’s the terminus of the First Great Western railway, the last major town in the South West before you hit the sea and home to an abnormally high percentage of people with dual diagnosis—those suffering from both mental health issues and substance misuse problems.
The proportion of people in drug treatment in Cornwall with mental health problems has doubled in the past year and is now running at a rate way above the national average. As well as that, only 55 percent of people with mental illnesses are in settled accommodation and drug and alcohol misusers are the section of society most urgently in need of housing. Put these statistics together, and it seems like Cornwall is a county of mentally ill addicts with nowhere to go.
Four Days at Toddstock – Celebrating Todd Rundgren’s 65th Birthday with His Cult
By the time we get to White Castle, Louisiana—more than an hour’s drive outside of New Orleans, past swamps and daiquiri shops and meat pie vendors—it’s nighttime, and halos of light encircle Nottoway, a massive, picturesque former plantation that now serves as a tourist attraction. Its verdant grounds—which contain a lavish saltwater pool, a volleyball court, and a café—can be rented out for weddings, corporate events, and, apparently, weeklong birthday parties for aging rock stars.
The star in question is Todd Rundgren, who is putting on a small festival in honor of his 65th birthday and he and his wife Michele’s 15th anniversary called ToddStock 2. You probably don’t name your birthday parties like that, but you also probably do not have fans willing to pay $799, plus travel costs, to camp in their own tents just to bask in your presence. For the price of admission you get two buffet meals and one open-bar happy hour per day. Renting air conditioning for your tent costs $200 extra. Rundgren threw ToddStock 1 five years ago at his home in Kauai, Hawaii, and it was free for anyone who made the trek out to the island. Three hundred obsessives showed up to the original ToddStock, and this year’s event, in June, attracted 160. The ToddStockers all being well-off white folks, fancy cottages on Nottoway’s grounds sold out within hours of the announcement, as did the nearby Best Western. These are more than fans. Call them apostles, or members of a friendly, well-adjusted cult.
Magaluf Is a Paradise
Once upon a time, before people, Majorca was just an island. It was a paradise adorned with golden sandy beaches and placid beasts who roamed around thinking: “My word, isn’t this a wonderful and quiet place? Mostly quiet. It’s a very quiet place.”
And then people came along—mostly people from the UK, Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia, invited by the native Spaniards—and provided human traffic for thousands of nightclubs and bars. And in these nightclubs and bars, they danced and binge drank, and then that spilled over onto the beaches, and that’s when people started puking and pissing on the animals, and fucking in front of them.
And eventually the people became the animals. And we present this photo blog to you as evidence of that.
I don’t know about you, but this summer heat is making me look forward to the days of my retirement. Days when I won’t have to hate the sun just because it seems to shine on everyone and everything else but me, my badly lit computer screen, and the exhaustingly strong office air conditioning.
Then again, I also think about how, when those days arrive, none of the pretty young people at the beach will mind me perving over them since I’ll be a weirdly shaped bag of excess skin. And that is terrifying. But maybe also nice.
So, you know, with that in mind, here are a few of Chris Cooper’s pictures of olds unashamedly strutting their stuff while on vacat in Tenerife to get you thinking about your own mortality.
The Polish coastline is about 500 km long. On it, there are several sandy beaches, some cliffs and a few villages that are now largely populated by depressed fishermen.
Poland was pretty happy when it was allowed to join the European Union, but ever since it’s been in the EU big boys club, the welfare of the fishing families has got shittier and shittier. Many are forced to sell their boats and open new businesses, or go looking for work elsewhere, meaning that the only people left in the villages are destitute fishermen who don’t have boats.
And what’s a fisherman without a boat? Just a sad guy in a cap who smells faintly of the one thing that he wants most, but cannot have.
Photographer Tomasz Lazar, who was born in Szczecin, a town just 100 km from the Baltic Sea, sent us this set of photographs.
I know we’re not usually big on artsy, black and white shots of gloomy things, but come on, this is Eastern Europe, people there are born seeing black and white.
After establishing that England is a cloudy, intoxicated little Eden of weapon dogs staring nonplussed at burning buildings, imodest women, and subways guarded by homeless jesters, we moved to greener, international pastures.
Today we are heading to the Netherlands. Specifically Rotterdam, a place our friend Milan Boonstra highly recommends, and where you should go if you’d like to experience firsthand what it feels like to have blood dripping all over your face.